Tape wasn’t an action film
Celtics see plenty to fix upon review
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins had the closest view possible for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But hours after the 102-89 loss Thursday night, they stayed up and watched game tape.
The aggressiveness was missing. The effort absent. The edge lost.
It was the first time Rondo could remember watching game tape directly after a loss. He didn’t see much point in waiting until the next day.
“This is it. This isn’t Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals or the second round of the playoffs,’’ Rondo said. “This is it. This is the Finals. We don’t have a lot of time to fix our mistakes.’’
The Celtics have had two days to answer questions about all of the intangibles missing from Game 1. They don’t want to do the same tomorrow.
After the viewing, a few players were frustrated and baffled by the players they saw wearing Celtics jerseys.
“It was very mind-boggling, I would say, because guys felt they could have gave an extra effort, which was very surprising considering it’s the NBA Finals,’’ guard Tony Allen said. “We’ve just got to give a much better effort going into Game 2 and I think you will — well, I know you will see a much better effort in Game 2.’’
Adjustments will be key for the Celtics. They were beaten on the boards. They were shut out on second-chance points. They were stumped along the perimeter.
“The film doesn’t lie,’’ Allen said. “Once we looked at the film, it was right there. The adjustments will be made.’’
Said Rondo: “We’ve seen a lot of bad things, and we’ve seen a lot of good things, as well. We try to take the positives and learn from the negatives and the mistakes we made in Game 1.’’
There was more than energy missing, said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. He said the Lakers were more aggressive.
“We’ve told our guys for years now, the ‘I’m playing hard, Coach,’ line does not work here,’’ Rivers said. “You’ve got to play hard and smart. So we have to have the three — energy, effort, and execution. We’ve got to have all three of those things. I think that’s far more important. But that’ll come. I think both teams will have energy, both teams will play with great effort. The execution part will be the last.’’
Kevin Garnett said he watches tape after a bad loss to dissect every aspect. As a team, the Celtics watched twice, Rivers said, but he estimated that Garnett probably scrolled through the footage numerous times on his own.
“He’s beating himself up, but that’s cool,’’ Rivers said. “That’s who he is. That’s what makes him great. He already knew the play before he even started. That’s fine. That’s what Kevin does. That’s what Kobe [Bryant] does. That’s what all the great players do. They’re students. They watch the game. They understand their mistakes. They own up to them. And they try to learn from them and move on.’’
When Perkins looked back on the Celtics’ effort, he noticed the team settling for jump shots and not going to the basket. As a result they shot 43.3 percent from the field.
“When you lose you kind of reevaluate yourself personally,’’ Perkins said. “I went back and watched the film just seeing a couple of times I could have been there on the help side of defense, block a few shots, grab a few rebounds, offensively and defensively. I feel like I can get better in a whole lot of ways.’’
After tonight, Paul Pierce said he doesn’t want to have to hear any more questions about the Celtics’ effort.
“Hopefully we don’t come back and talk about this, talk about effort or energy, because this is it,’’ he said. “You don’t get these type of opportunities in the Finals, to be able to come here not only once but twice, but still you can’t take it for granted because you never know if you’ll have this opportunity again. Hopefully we can leave it all out there for the next remaining games, and we don’t have to talk about this anymore.’’
Monique Walker can be reached at email@example.com.